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PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2020 8:53 pm 
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Joined: Wed Aug 13, 2014 12:14 pm
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I've noticed (I think) that the last guitar I built varies widely in how it sounds from day to day. Or maybe it's just me. Some days I play it, and I think it sounds fantastic. Other days I play it, and I think it sounds dead and lifeless.. Has anybody else noticed this, or heard of this, or am just getting more delusional in my old age?

Another, somewhat similar, question: does a guitar sound better after it's been played for a while, e.g for half an hour, say. Will it sound better after being played for half an hour than it sounded when you first picked it up after it had been sitting for a few days?

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2020 10:32 pm 
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i have been doing deep dives into listening and comparing all my old guitars as well as the new builds. For me, I find that I am not the player I would like to be so focus on the technical aspects vs musical. I would say that my guitars generally sound a lot better when setup well ( action ) and are tuned just right. I recently purchased a Peterson stobe tuner. It is only offers a far more accurate tuner than my phone or tuning fork and ear. I use the 'sweetened" tunings. The guitars turn heads when they are in the sweetened tuning and new strings.

My theory is that your guitars are sometimes just in better tune harmonically than others. For me it was random before where some days they sounded great but others not so much. Get those sweetened tunings fired up and give it another shot. There is a $10 software version of the tuner if the hardware ones are too pricey. I think that great guitar players know how to do this by ear but I tune and go so getting it just right helps a ton.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 21, 2020 12:07 am 
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Joined: Sun Sep 08, 2013 11:39 pm
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Maine Geezer, I think the short answer is "yes", but I think there are many factors at play. I don't play enough so get rusty and my fingers don't stretch as well and the guitar suffers. But practice some more, even a half-hour session, and things start to sound better. And if a guitar has not been played for a while, it can take a little while to warm up. I agree also setup and tuning are critical. I am still challenged by setup, tuning I can manage with a better tuner, and some tweaking afterwards. I am often surprised, though, how good my first two builds sound, even compared with my mellow old Larrivée. A local guitar tech who has worked for Bryan Adams and Sarah McLachlan insists you have to set up for the way you play, which confirms the notion that a guitar is not a perfect instrument, and compromise is often the order of the day. On the other hand, I think a fine guitar will play well over a wider range of keys, fingerboard positions, etc. I have not yet made one of those . . .


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 21, 2020 5:05 am 
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Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2014 8:13 pm
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Sure, I think guitars sound slightly different. I think the weather has something to do with it. On hot days were running the ac, which dehumidifies to a certain extent. In the winter, forced air furnaces dry out the air to the extreme, drying the wood. Right now, we have extremely high humidity, and although the ac is running, the humidity is up in the house.

Guitars are barometers. That affects everything. The temperature affects the wood.

Your strings change as they stretch and age.

So yes, i think guitars, like people, change daily.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 21, 2020 5:29 am 
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Good thoughts about the need to be precisely in tune for the best sound. This guitar for some reasdoes seem to particularly sensitive to tuning. . It's difficult to get just right, and if it's off it sounds really off. I keep wondering if different tuners would help, although the ones on it are Gotohs, which are certainly decent tuners.

There seems to be more to it than just the tuning though. Diane may be onto something rel: the effects of the daily weather. This is my 4th guitar, the one with my made-up top bracing pattern. While it sounds really, really good when it's havibg a good day, that oddball bracing may have made it particularly susceptible to hhmidity and temperature changes.

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Don't believe everything you know.
Anything is possible if you don't know what you are talking about.
When things are bad, try not to make them any worse, because it is quite likely they are bad enough already. - French Foreign Legion


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 21, 2020 6:37 am 
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Location: Hegins, Pa
it takes a while for a guitar to settle. Yes guitars will sound different but most often it may be RH related so note the humidity. I think they sound better on lower RH days.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 21, 2020 8:45 am 
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Joined: Mon Dec 03, 2018 9:12 am
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What John and Diane said.
Excess humidity will make a guitar sound muffled, like you stuffed it full of socks.
Drier guitars sound better.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 21, 2020 4:55 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jul 29, 2015 9:04 pm
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Location: San Jose, CA, USA
Quote:
most often it may be RH related so note the humidity. I think they sound better on lower RH days

That is definitely true of my cedar-topped guitar. My son's koa-topped guitar seems to be the least sensitive to relative humidity.

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